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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the authors

With the rapid advancement of voice technology, smart speaker devices have penetrated many US households and businesses. Voice assistants, such as Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Google Assistant, are embedded in a slew of consumer products and IoTs. Digital assistants act as intelligent agents interacting with user voices, responding with answers and support.

This issue of Library Technology Reports (vol. 56, no. 4) first provides an overview of the technology behind smart speakers and voice assistants, also known as digital or virtual assistants. It further explores innovative uses of such technology in library and educational settings. Next, the report discusses related issues of ethics, privacy, security, and trust, concluding with a review of future trends and advice for decision makers preparing for integrating voice assistants in their organizations.


Chapter 1: Voice Revolution
Chapter 2: Library and Educational Use Cases
Chapter 3: Confronting Concerns
Chapter 4: Future Actions

About the Authors

Win Shih

Win Shih is the director of integrated library systems at the University of Southern California Libraries, where he leads a team in overseeing library’s management systems. He also teaches at the master of management in library and information science program at the USC Marshall School of Business. As an educator, Dr. Shih actively participates in the accreditation review of master of library and information science programs. He received his doctor of education from USC Rossier School of Education.

Erin Rivero

Erin Rivero is the director of editorial creative for Peacock, NBCUniversal's new streaming service. She holds a master of management in library and information science from the University of Southern California, as well as master of arts degrees in teaching and international studies from Chapman University.

Library Technology Reports

Published by ALA TechSource, Library Technology Reports helps librarians make informed decisions about technology products and projects. Library Technology Reports publishes eight issues annually and provides thorough overviews of current technology. Reports are authored by experts in the field and may address the application of technology to library services, offer evaluative descriptions of specific products or product classes, or cover emerging technology. Find out more information on this publication here.